exodus 2: 23-25
During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.
Exodus means, “going out” or “departure”. The book of Exodus gives us the account of God’s deliverance of His people from Egypt’s cruel slavery. This is not a tale from the distant past but is an important and relevant story for our lives. We get to know God better by looking at Exodus. We see God’s people and today He still has a people. From then until now, we see God faithfully and consistently delivering His people and dwelling with His people.
Let’s unpack some major biblical themes from Exodus and our text:
The Model of Redemption
We are going to look at Exodus with Christ-centered lenses. In the Gospels, Jesus often spoke of His death as His departure and used a word that meant His “exodus”. The exodus of God’s people out of bondage is great - but Jesus’ triumphant death and resurrection was the greater exodus. What Jesus would do appears in pattern, type, theme development, and foreshadowing. Exodus shows us redemption (Colossians 1:13-14) and is key to understanding the cross and salvation.
Notice some of the similarities between Israel (God’s People in Exodus) and Christ followers today:
- Like Israel, we are saved from something (from spiritual slavery to sin) and for something (to witness and to worship).
- Like Israel, we are saved by the blood of a lamb (Exodus 12:1; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
- Like Israel, we have been saved, and we are now sojourners and a holy priesthood, seeking to glorify God in word and deed until we reach the promised land (1 Peter 2:4-12).
The Exodus story is very much a mirror of our story.
God’s Motive For Redeeming
Our verses today lay out God’s motive for acting on behalf of His people. Despite the change in government, slavery remained severe. The people cried out to God with intense grief, distress, and agony.
- God knows. He heard their cry. He took concerned notice. God has the ability to see and hear (Psalm 34:15). God was intimately aware of His people. And because God knows, He acts.
- God remembered. He remembered His unbreakable promise of salvation. Remembering means to bring it to the front burner and act on it. He remembered His covenant which is “a never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love” (The Jesus Storybook Bible).
Today, if you belong to God through Jesus Christ, you belong to His eternal covenant. This forever love is what you see motivating God throughout the Bible. God’s purpose of redemption and mission given to Abraham in Genesis continues in Exodus. Today, this same God continues on the same mission of reclaiming worshippers today. He sets us free to worship Him.
God’s love for me is not about God glorying me but rather me being free to glorify Him; this is our motivation for mission. Rob Hoskins
The Mission of the Redeemed
When God redeems us through His Son Jesus Christ, He saves us into His mission - we become the redeemed.
God chose not to abandon or destroy his creation, but to redeem it. And he chose to do so within history through persons and events that run from the call of Abraham to the return of Christ. Christopher Wright
Redeeming His creation is His work - He is purposed to bring the sinful world of His fallen creation to the redeemed world of His new creation. We are invited into His mission and work. The Christian Church (those that have responded by repentance and faith in Jesus) is now a community with a mission. We are now to seek to live as a transformed and transforming community - bringing reconciliation and blessing in the world.
In Exodus, God would deliver His people from social-political-economic slavery as well as spiritual slavery. God is still concerned with these types of bondages and oppressions - and therefore we should be too. We must respond to both the physical and spiritual needs around the world.
We should care for the physical needs of our world. When applying Exodus, we should avoid having a spiritualized application only. The physical enslavement of the people in Egypt kept them from worshipping God. While proclamation is the most important task of the church today, that does not mean that we can neglect the practical acts of mercy and justice.
We should care for the spiritual needs of our world. The spiritual freedom of Israel was at the heart of of their physical release. We should want to free people from physical oppression, but ultimately we should work to free them spiritually.
Christians should care about alleviating both types of human suffering: temporal suffering and eternal suffering - and especially eternal suffering.
God’s love drives everything!
This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing to discuss the implications of the message.
This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the expression of that commandment in loving your neighbor (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.
An Examined Life
As we continue to reflect on the sermon, allow these questions to guide your discussion with others concerning the conviction points and what you sensed God’s Spirit was doing in you through the preached Word. Jot notes to help you remember.
What was God doing in you through the message on Sunday?
Describe how you’ve grown in your understanding of the Gospel?
How are you going to respond to God’s Word in your life?